Interact Council of Presidents held in Stratford on Sunday

Members from 20 (of our 53 Interact Clubs) and 12 (of our 61 Rotary Clubs) attended a lively program Sunday (2/2/2014) on Interact at the Homewood Suites in Stratford.

The Interact Council of Presidents (ICoP’s) is an Interact district wide meeting of Interact Presidents within Rotary District 7980 that is designed to collaboratively lead and plan the activities of the Interact Clubs within our District.

Interact are clubs for youth ages 12-18 who want to connect with others in their community or school. Interact club members have fun while carrying out service projects and learning about the world. Interact clubs organize at least two service projects a year: one that benefits their community and one that encourages international understanding. While Interact clubs receive guidance from individual Rotary clubs, they govern and support themselves.

Interact has a membership of over 250,000 youth in more than 11,000 clubs worldwide. It’s one of Rotary’s fastest growing programs. Interact clubs are self-governing and self-supporting and can be either school or community based. Interact’s name is a combination of the words international and action. With clubs in over 120 countries and geographical areas, Interact is truly an international phenomenon. Interact’s global youth network is dedicated to community and international service. Every Interact club project, great or small, has a lasting impact on society worldwide. Brazil, India, the Philippines, and the United States boast the highest number of Interact clubs.

Interact/Rotaract Assembly held at Notre Dame in West Haven today

Now for something completely different……

This year Youth Services Chair Justin Philips challenged his team to come up with creative ways to cross pollinate some of the youth programs in such as way that kids and young adults could gain valuable insight into all that Rotary does in working with youth. The first innovative program right out of the gate was combining the Interact and Rotaract Assemblies into a single time and location, which was held today at Notre Dame High School in West Haven Connecticut today.

About 100 young people and a dozen or so District volunteers (not as young) gathered for this very special event which featured some common sessions as well as age appropriate facilitated discussions in breakout sessions.

The event was well planned and executed and the energy was fabulous. It makes me proud to be serving a district with so many dedicated volunteers who commit themselves to giving back to young people.